Thursday, May 14, 2015

Dinner at Quest by Que

Last weekend I went to dinner with my friends at Quest by Que, a new restaurant opened by Que Vinh Dang, my friend's friend (who used to own TBLS, which I blogged about back in the day).  I have to say, I really love the food he and his team are preparing in this space.   Unlike TBLS, whose menu changed monthly, Quest by Que's menu changes quarterly or seasonally, and it is not a private kitchen but rather a more traditional restaurant.

The concept is fine - I would probably have picked a different color setting because I find the black and white decor a little bit stark; I think the set up is okay but maybe a little bit awkward with two rooms, etc. etc. - but those are all minor details.  The most important thing is that the food is worth it. 

It is rare to find in Hong Kong so much care and thought put into the preparation of the food.  You know, without a doubt, that the chef has spent hours working through the colors and textures and considered the complement and the contrast of the flavors, from every angle.  His dishes manage to surprise and delight.  
This is a thinking person's meal.  You are on a journey of discovery (ice lettuce? shrimp ravioli in a bubble?)  and yet also experiencing the familiar with the strange.   Even though all of the dishes were on point on the night we went, I would argue that if the chef did not hit the mark, the menu would still very clearly display the direction and intention of his attempt. And for that boldness, creativity and intuition, Quest by Que deserves all the accolades.

 Smoked octopus with watermelon, pickled watermelon rind and ice lettuce.
Torched ora king salmon with galangal and beet root jelly, avocado and salmon roe, topped with crispy fish skin.  This one was probably my favorite.  The layers of complexity that the chef managed in this small package - the smooth and tender salmon, the spice from the galangal, the cool slippery effect of the beet root jelly, the unexpected heat from the chili ginger broth at the bottom... was really commendable.
 BBQ Iberico pork belly banh mi, with chicken liver pate, black pepper sausage and pickles, on top of a swipe of siracha mayonnaise.
 Bun rieu crab cake, with pickled cucumber and cherry tomato pico de gallo.
 Pan seared escolar with crispy vermicelli and sweet shrimp ravioli.
Stuffed quail with carrot puree, pickled romanesco and chipotle, abed smoky cauliflower.
 Strawberry compote with soursop sherbet, pandan panna cotta and macaroon.
 And finally, last but not least, the frozen Vietnamese mocha, with coffee ice cream, condensed milk and chocolate meringue.
Wow, am I right?

Go, you won't regret it!

Quest by Que
28/F, 239 Hennessy Road
Wanchai, Hong Kong
+852 2554 0888

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